A high school football team in Portville, New York, has voted to cancel the remainder of its season after the death of one of their teammates following a helmet-to-helmet collision during a game earlier this month.
16-year-old Damon Janes died three days after being injured and losing consciousness following a helmet-to-helmet collision during a football game. On September, 16, a week after his death, his teammates on the Westfield-Brocton Wolverines varsity team voted to immediately end their football season. Following the decision of the players the Westfield Academy and Central School Board of Education unanimously approved a recommendation by the superintendent to cancel the remaining season.
According to Superintendent Jeff Rabeyn, the Wolverine coaches and others in the area are reviewing their tackling instructions and teams younger than high school age have “extensively adopted the ‘heads up’ initiative that promotes tackling in a specific form to avoid excessive injury.” Of the decision to end the season early Rabey said, “It is, you know, significant. Even though it is difficult decision, it is the right decision, especially because it was fostered in conversations between players and coaches.”
Although a specific cause of death has not yet been released for Janes, his loss has shed more light on the continuing debate about the dangers faced by football players on the field. According to a recent study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, 12 high school and college players die on average annually due to injuries sustained during games and Janes is at least the fifth high school player to die this year after on-field injuries.
Photo: AP File/Provided by Janes family